In professional sports, almost everyone readily agrees that a top-performing athlete is worth their weight in gold. That value is clearly reflected in their compensation, where for example a top-performing NFL quarterback can get paid 10 times more than the third-string quarterback on the same team. The value of adding a LeBron James, Peyton Manning, or Lionel Messi to your team can easily exceed hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The same is true in entertainment, where adding the right actor to a film or rock star to a concert can easily double the gross over an unknown performer.
Unfortunately in the corporate world, the HR function has failed to come up with a credible method for quantifying the “performance differential” between an average employee and a top performer in the same job. And as a result of not having this economic justification, executives have all too often been reluctant to fund the leading-edge recruiting, retention, and management processes that are required in order to successfully attract and retain these highly desirable top performers and innovators. In last week’s article, I demonstrated how to calculate the negative costs associated with hiring and keeping weak performers, and in this companion article, I highlight how to calculate the performance multiplier of top performers.
Calculating the Performance Multiplier of a Top Performer keep reading…
The New Year is the perfect time to reexamine and refocus your talent efforts. The coming year will see a surge in economic growth, but it will occur in a business environment with continued volatility. Succeeding in this environment will require a new approach. So before all of the activity that accompanies any new year begins, take at least an afternoon off for some “strategic thinking and planning time.” In order to guide your thinking, I propose 10 talent resolutions or focus areas which are likely to have high strategic and business impacts.
10 Strategic Action Areas in Talent Management keep reading…
The complete guide on how to use stay interviews to improve retention
Many firms use exit interviews to find out why employees are leaving their jobs. Unfortunately, asking an employee on their last day “why are you leaving?” doesn’t provide useful information in time to prevent the turnover. A superior approach that I’ve been recommending for over 20 years is a “stay interview.” I alternatively call it a “pre-exit interview,” because it occurs before there is any hint that an employee is about to exit the firm. A stay interview helps you understand why employees stay, so that those important factors can be reinforced.
Definition: A “stay interview” is a periodic one-on-one structured retention interview between a manager and a highly valued “at-risk-of-leaving employee” that identifies and then reinforces the factors that drive an employee to stay. It also identifies and minimizes any “triggers” that might cause them to consider quitting.
The Many Benefits of Why-do-You-Stay? Interviews keep reading…
Football, and in particular the NFL, is a big part of my life. Not only do I enjoy the game and all it has personally done for me, I enjoy all the lessons about business management it has to offer. In the latest rounds of NFL scandals the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito was accused and tried in the media for work place harassment. It has caused another valuable member of its offense of line, Jonathan Martin, to quit the team and create a storm of controversy about the culture of the NFL locker rooms. Is this commonplace? Is it generally accepted behavior for professional football players? Probably not. As this controversy continues, we may find out differently. From what many of the experts are saying this is simply a case of mismanagement, and a player or players out of control.
In the business world, degrees of “problem generators” like Incognito exist; these are the people with the bad attitudes masked by talent. In some companies they are more prevalent than others. Many organizations actually seek to eliminate these problem generators and prevent them from ever being hired using some of the techniques and tools suggested in this Simple Guide to Interviewing for Attitude. One bad apple can cause a lot of damage, and the evidence is obvious when the promising Miami Dolphins lose to the winless Tampa Bay on Monday night mostly due to the loss of two key players.
Problem generators create host of subtle but extremely damaging side effects. Here are my top five areas that are affected the most by a problem generator. keep reading…
If you expect to win “The War to Keep Your Employees,” you must continually assure that the best offer that a top performing employee receives comes from inside your own firm.
In order to assure that, management must periodically approach top talent and recruit them again (re-recruit) just as if they were a new external prospect. Although I coined the term “re-recruit” more than 20 years ago, it is still an effective retention tool today. keep reading…
Some of you like turnover, I realize: after all, you’re recruiters. But others on this site are in-house recruiters who’d like to keep who they’ve recruited. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a small company or multi-national, selling food, clothes, or technology, or servicing patients or homeowners. Employee turnover is affecting every organization in every industry from New York to California, from Canada to Japan. Even India and China are beginning to experience high rates of turnover.
That begs the question: Why do employees leave? keep reading…
It’s natural to do everything you can to convert a potential candidate you’re interested in. However, mistakes made during recruiting process and in the onboarding stage can lead that person to leave early.
Recently, a friend of mine left his job after 18 months. He had spent four months looking for a job and deciding that one was the right fit. He even relocated to a new state to take it. He was as excited about it as can be. So what happened? keep reading…
If you are sitting here reading this, you are probably a top performer — the best seek out challenges, look to expand their knowledge bank, and have a strong desire for excellence. What most top performers aren’t looking for is to be sold on something they haven’t had the chance to fully investigate for themselves. After all, most of us are a bit standoffish around salespeople or when facing offers that seem too good to be true.
I recently saw a top-caliber financial analyst leave a company because a headhunter recruited him, offering a 20 percent increase in pay. This offer got the analyst through the door, but the prize at the end of the road blinded his vision of the dust storm ahead. keep reading…
From the employer’s perspective, most of the recent publicity relating to offering health care benefits has been focused on the added cost and burden of providing those benefits to a firm’s employees. However, many employers and especially small businesses seem to have failed to realize that offering healthcare benefits is one of the most powerful attraction and retention factors on the planet. As a result, not offering healthcare benefits may turn out to be a costly business decision, especially when it drives away top potential applicants and results in the loss of your top lower-paid employees to other businesses that have suddenly become more attractive by offering it.
You can’t ignore the importance of benefits in recruiting and retention because recent surveys about “what candidates want in a job by Glassdoor and Randstad both reveal that employee benefits (along with salary) are the No. 1 attraction fact. keep reading…
In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque.
That line from the 1986 film Top Gun — a film about Navy aviators — sums up the surprising problem besetting the Air Force. It can’t retain its fighter pilots. Increasingly, its pilots are remembered with retirement plaques.
It wasn’t that long ago that 80 percent of the service’s fighter pilots would re-up after their initial 11 year commitment. Today, the percentage is 65. And unless that improves, the Air Force estimates that its current 200 pilot shortage will grow to 700 in the years ahead.
To combat the problem and get more experienced aviators to stay the Air Force announced a lucrative retention program upping the pay for pilots and offering a bonus worth $225,000 for experienced pilots who sign-on for nine more years. keep reading…
In today’s roundup we tackle the complicated and totally interrelated issues of lunchtime neighborhood shopping and the retention rate of hourly workers.
And then we’ll grab a beer.
But first, there’s the matter of office gangs. Got your attention with that one? Actually it’s about the workplaces where 43 percent of employees say cliques exist. (A clique is a gang you can leave without fear of your life.)
CareerBuilder’s survey de la semaine says your colleagues who were high school athletes, class clowns, or geeks are the most likely to wind up in a clique. And just like high school, these cliques exert their own peer pressure; 19 percent admitted they “Made fun of someone else or pretended not to like them.” Almost half went out drinking with the group, which, according to 46 percent of the surveyed workers, counted a boss in the gang. keep reading…
Innovation = Ideas + Collaboration + Execution
As a result of the dramatic business successes of firms like Google, Apple, and Facebook, almost everyone has become aware of the tremendous economic value that comes from continuous corporate innovation. But unfortunately executives at most firms have failed to realize that they can dramatically increase their corporate innovation rate by simply focusing on hiring and retaining more “idea people.”
Ideas Start the Innovation Process keep reading…
A recent Gallup study found that only 47 percent of American workers are completely satisfied with their jobs. A MarketTools study found that 21 percent of employees had applied to another job in the past six months. Clearly, many employees are ready to look elsewhere for the next step in their careers.
How do you make them look at you? More importantly, how do you make your current employees stay with you?
Or, in short, how can your company become an employer of choice?
Becoming an employer of choice means that applicants are eager to work for you, that people envy your employees, that you receive unsolicited resumes, and that your most talented workers stay with the company throughout their careers.
It’s the holy grail for every employers. So do you achieve it?
There’s no single answer to that question. In fact, coming up with the answer may require answers to more questions. Here are a few you should tackle: keep reading…
If you’re going to measure and perhaps reward individual hiring managers for excellence, you will need to work with a sample of them to determine which output metrics are strategic, effective, and easy to measure.
Here are 23 possible scorecard measures as a starting point for that discussion. Note: the highest-impact factors are listed first in each of the four categories.
Category I — High business impact measures to consider keep reading…
If you left your dog home when you went to work today, shame on you. All Fido’s furry pals are enjoying national Take Your Dog to Work Day today.
What do you mean you didn’t know? You remembered Talk Like a Pirate day last September when you wore that eye patch. And that powdered sugar on your shirt two weeks ago could only have come from your National Doughnut Day celebrating.
So what are you, like that career coach Dan Galloway who says keep dogs six miles away, let alone take them to work.
Heck, if you have brought your dog to work today, who knows, you might have gotten them a job. keep reading…
How to develop a recruiter scorecard for assessing individual corporate recruiter performance
Champions insist that you keep score. If you understand that concept, you will ensure that in addition to function-wide metrics, you will supplement them with a scorecard for assessing the performance of each individual recruiter. Everyone knows that corporations are measurement crazy, so I have found that by not measuring something (in this case recruiters), you are inadvertently sending a message to executives and employees that whatever you are doing is not strategic or even important (because if it was, we would measure it).
So unless you want to purposely send a message that “having top performing recruiters doesn’t matter,” you have no choice but to develop an individual recruiter scorecard. In order to do that effectively, you first need to understand the foundation design principles for individual scorecards and then you must select the actual measures that you will use in your scorecard. In part one, I introduced the concept and provided three examples of what a scorecard might look like. In this part two, I will cover the design details and a list of the measure to consider for your scorecard. keep reading…
The San Antonio Spurs have a keen eye for talent. They do a lot of things right and a lot of those principles are applicable to how we in corporate America recruit and retain employees and run our organizations.
Starting with recruiting, the Spurs have a keen eye for talent. They do not chase super-flashy, high-priced free agents. Rather, their approach has been to travel the globe and find players who fly under the radar with superb talent and who are overlooked, like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Gary Neal, and then to develop those players into superstars. When they do sign a player, that player has to fit the profile of the organization, which typically means possession of a team-first mentality, selfless in actions, good person, and willing to buy into the system.
Looking at retention and starting at the top, their coach Gregg Popovich has been the head coach of the Spurs for 17 years and with him several of his assistant coaches have long tenure. This tenure of coaches has been vital to the success of the team, as tenured leaders come with knowledge, credibility, trust, and a strategic outlook. keep reading…
We often read about a variety of supposedly recruiting-related topics which are designed to have in-house (either full-time or contract) recruiters “do better.” We typically work on 15-25 requisitions at a time, putting in 45-60 hours of work/week for immediate hires. Consequently, if it doesn’t directly lead to helping us “quickly and affordably put more/better quality butts in chairs,” these topics are wastes of our time.
A number of these suggested topics/tasks are useful (if not vital), and others aren’t. However, when we recruiters aren’t “drinking from a firehouse,” we’re wondering how soon they’ll lay us off, so in neither case can we work on these useful tasks. It would be valuable to have a company say to us:
We’re slowing down a bit now, so we’ll have you work on these other important tasks you haven’t had time to do up to now to keep you working for awhile.
Many companies are unable/unwilling to do this, and would rather lose our accumulated knowledge and practice and start all over again in the future with some largely/wholly new crew.
Anyway, back to those favorite wastes of time we’re supposed to do in the negative-5 to negative-20 hours of free time we have during the week: keep reading…
Top performers have an incredibly high ROI
Articles from academics don’t always provide practical lessons, but there have been two recent ones that everyone in talent management should pay attention to.
The results of the first one focus on the output differential produced by top performers. This study published in February in Personnel Psychology which cut across several industries, revealed that the top 5 percent of the workforce at the researched firms produced 26 percent of the firm’s total output. The top-performing 5 percent produced 400 percent more than you would expect (26 percent rather than 5 percent).
That means that top performers have an incredibly high ROI because they produce more than four times more; however, they are generally paid less than 20 percent over an average worker in the same job.
Just like on the business side of the enterprise where the 80/20 rule prevails (80 percent of your profit comes from 20 percent of your products) there should be a similar 80/20 rule covering employee performance. This disproportional impact means that despite the fact that many in HR are enamored with the practice of “treating everyone equally,” it turns out that that approach may be well-intentioned but misguided because in business, just like sports and entertainment, top performers have a significantly higher business impact than the average. Top performers need to be prioritized.
Prioritization Is Also an Essential Element of Referral Programs keep reading…
During the newly reinvigorated and exciting ERE conference, two attendees posed related but powerful questions to me. The first was “What advanced topics should be on the agenda of recruiting leaders at elite firms?” Or as another put it “What should Google be planning to do next in recruiting?”
At least to me, future agenda items are an important topic. Because after visiting well over 100 firms, I have found a dramatic difference between the agenda items that are found on 95% of the firms (cost per hire, ATS issues, req loads, etc.) and the truly advanced subjects that only elite recruiting firms like Google, DaVita, Sodexo, etc. would even attempt to tackle.
So if you have the responsibility for setting agendas or recruiting goals, here is my list of truly advanced recruiting topics that elite leaders would find compelling but that most others would simply find to be out of their reach. If you want to be among the elite, you should select a handful for implementation. However, even if you are currently overwhelmed by your current agenda, you might still find them to be interesting reading.
25 Advanced Recruiting Topics for Bold Corporate Recruiting Leaders keep reading…